The country’s vaccine expert panel (VEP) is currently reviewing the new applications for the conduct of two independent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine clinical trials in the country.
This was disclosed by Dr. Mario Antonio Jiz, a panel member, at the sidelines of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s weekly report on Friday.
“Noong nakaraang linggo lamang ang Task Group [on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection] ay nakatanggap ng bagong applications para sa pagsasagawa ng dalawang independent COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials at ito ay kasalukuyang nirereview ng VEP (Just last week, the Task Group received new applications for the conduct of two independent COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials and these are currently being reviewed by the VEP),” said Jiz, also the chair of the Immunology Department at Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).
He noted that the VEP has reviewed five COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial applications, three of which were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for implementation.
“Ang VEP ay nagsasagawa ng technical review ng mga clinical trial applications na naaayon sa inaaprubahang proseso ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) at FDA sa kasalukuyan (The VEP conducted the technical review of clinical trial applications In line with the current approved IATF and FDA process),” he said.
He said the VEP evaluated COVID-19 vaccines for possible negotiation by the Vaccine Czar and the Vaccine Cluster following the criteria adopted from the World Health Organization (WHO) for COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization and WHO Target Product Profiles for COVID-19 Vaccines with additional criteria and considerations suited for local needs.
De la Peña also noted that upon request of the FDA, the VEP “also provided assistance in the technical review of clinical trial data submitted as part of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) applications of vaccine developers,”
He cited that the DOST’s VEP is part of the All-Experts Group that the Department of Health (DOH) consults with for matters related to the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program.
Members of the VEP serve as resource persons for various information, education and communication initiatives of the DOST, DOH and the Vaccine Cluster related to the conduct of vaccine clinical trials, COVID-19 vaccines in general, and the COVID-19 vaccination program, de la Peña said.